Happy New Year!
Let’s hope 2021 will be a better year for everyone, starting January 20.
Without further delay, here is a quick and easy sausage recipe, strongly based on the one in the True Thai cookbook by Hong Thaimee.
This recipe has lots of uses, and there are many ways to cook it, including grilling, pan searing, and broiling, either in or out of casings.
If you’re up to it, grinding the spices and herbs with a mortar and pestle is supposedly the best way to unlock their flavors. We happen to have one that doesn’t get as much use as it should (lazy) so this was a perfect opportunity for that.
You could serve these as an appetizer with some sweet chili dipping sauce, or cook them in a curry gravy and serve them with rice or Thai noodles. Just use your imagination and use them for whatever works for you. No matter what, they’ll taste fantastic.
What you’ll need:
- 5 Thai red chilis, seeded (wear gloves for this!)
- 10 lime leaves, minced
- 0.25 cups sliced lemongrass
- 0.25 cups roughly chopped shallots
- 2t peeled and chopped fresh turmeric (watch out for stains!)
- 1T black soy sauce
- 2T fish sauce
- 1.5t salt (seems pretty optional to me, given the soy sauce and fish sauce)
- 2 lbs ground pork (my favorite Asian store grinds it coarsely, but finely ground should work well, too)
- 3 sprigs cilantro, chopped
- 1 scallion, white and light green parts, chopped
- 1 pack of 1.5” sausage casing, if making into actual sausages
- Vegetable oil for frying
What to do:
Using a mortar and pestle, pound/grind the chilies, lime leaves, lemongrass, garlic, shallots and turmeric into a smooth paste. This is easier said than done, and it takes about 15 minutes. It’s hard to get a real pasty grind (see photo), but it worked out OK. Of course, one could just throw everything in a food processor and be done in less than 10 seconds.
Transfer the paste into a large bowl and stir in the soy sauce, fish sauce, and salt, if you’re using.
Add the pork, cilantro and scallions and mix gently until everything is incorporated. Be careful not to over-mix, or the sausages will be tough. For best ultimate results, when done, cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours so the flavors mix.
For cooking, shape them into whatever shape works best for you and cook them like you would any other type of ground meat: grilled, pan fried or broiled. You could also boil them, then sear after they’re cooked.